Quick and easy vegan strawberry turnovers filled with a perfectly sweet homemade strawberry filling inside flakey layers of store-bought puff pastry.
Thank you to Stahlbush Island Farms for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
With ready-made puff pastry available in most large grocery stores as well as several brands making it accidently vegan, homemade vegan morning pastries like these strawberry turnovers are so easy to make. Perfect for the pastry basket with these vegan almond croissants which are made with store-bought croissants, you can make your own vegan turnovers with minimal effort!
Why You’ll Love This Turnover Recipe
- Adaptable – Use your favorite berries or berry mix. Enjoy the convenience of frozen berries, or use up that fresh summer fruit. Use puff pastry or pie pastry – homemade or ready-made!
- Handheld Dessert – Portable pies for bringing to potlucks, baby showers, tucking into lunch bags, adding to the brunch table, or for an easy vegan dessert.
- Quick & Easy – Simply simmer and thicken the berries then let them cool, and you’re ready to assemble your miniature pies! Using store-bought pastry makes this a dessert that the kids can help with.
- Simple Ingredients – Made with only 9 common ingredients, many which you may already have in your kitchen.
- Dairy-free, Egg-free, and Vegan – Perfect for everyone at the table. Use gluten-free pastry if needed.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Puff Pastry – Several brands like Tenderflake and Pepperidge Farm make accidently vegan puff pastry and are sold in the frozen section of many large grocery stores. Pie dough (store-bought or homemade pie crust) can also be used to make turnovers – you’ll need two pie crusts worth of dough. The final pastry will naturally be thinner; bake at a lower temperature (375°F/190°C/gas mark 5) for about 15-20 minutes.
- Strawberries – I used Stahlbush Island Farms‘ frozen strawberries which are perfectly ripened before freezing, and available year round. Fresh ones also work very well if you’re looking for a vegan strawberry recipe. Other types of berries such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or a mix of thereof, can be used instead of strawberries.
- Sugar – Granulated sugar is neutral tasting so those berry flavors shine. If your berries aren’t very ripe, you can increase the sugar by a tablespoon or two (12-24 g).
- Lemon Juice – Adds a complimentary freshness and vibrancy the berries.
- Cornstarch (Corn Flour) – Used to thicken the strawberry turnover filling. Cornstarch creates a nice clear gelled texture once cooked. You can use an equal amount of arrowroot or tapioca powder if that’s what you have on hand.
- Vegan Milk – Milk is an easy egg wash substitute. It adds a slight sheen to the turnover crust during baking and helps with browning. It also helps seal the edges of the turnovers, and is something for the coarse sugar to stick to on top of the pastry. I like to use soy milk, but other vegan milks work too although I don’t recommend rice milk (it’s watery). You can also used strained aquafaba (the liquid from a can chickpeas or white beans) if you prefer.
- Coarse Sugar – Not necessary but adds a pretty sparkle to the top of each turnover and a subtle crunch.
- Confectioners’ Sugar (Powdered Sugar) – Mixed with a bit of milk and vanilla, confectioners’ sugar creates a vanilla glaze if you’d like to top your turnovers with something extra.
How to Make Vegan Strawberry Turnovers
These berry turnovers are one of the easiest vegan desserts! They come together in just a few simple steps:
- Make the strawberry filling. Simply simmer the berries with sugar and lemon juice, then whisk in a cornstarch slurry to thicken. Let the filling cool completely before using.
- Assemble the turnovers. Spoon the cooled filling onto each piece of puff pastry. Brush the edges with milk, fold the dough over the filling, and seal the edges. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with some sugar. See the image below showing the detailed step-by-step process for filling and sealing turnovers.
- Bake and then cool slightly. Top with an easy vanilla glaze if so desired!
Tips for Perfect Turnovers
Make sure your puff pastry is defrosted. Unless the package directions say otherwise, frozen puff pastry can be thawed in about 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Be sure to work with it while it’s still cold so the fat doesn’t melt. Warm puff pastry is sticky and hard to work with, plus it may result in pastry that doesn’t rise enough or hold its shape.
Simmer the strawberry filling. If your berries are overripe and really juicy (or if you’re using frozen berries), let them simmer a little longer than directed. Cooking for longer before adding the cornstarch allows some (not all!) of the moisture to evaporate whilst retaining those delicious berry flavors. A thin filling will readily bubble out of the pastries. Once the cornstarch slurry is added to the strawberries, be sure to let it all simmer for another minute so the cornstarch thickens the filling fully.
Let the filling cool completely. Hot, or even warm filling will melt the fat in the puff pastry. This makes the pastry sticky and hard to work with. The turnovers may also not rise properly, hold their shape, or be as flakey.
Completely preheat the oven. Puff pastry needs that intense heat as soon as it hits the oven to rise and become as flakey as possible. Most ovens lie a bit, so give it an extra 10 minutes AFTER the oven states it’s preheated. If the pastries are placed in the oven before it’s preheated, they may not hold their shape, be as flakey, rise properly, or be soggy.
Seal the edges well. See tips in the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section below on how to do this.
Bake until golden and puffed. Taking the turnovers out before they are completely baked will result in undercooked puff pastry. The gluten will not have set up properly to support the puffed shape and, upon cooling, the pastries will collapse.
Storage & Make Ahead Suggestions
Room Temperature Storage: Strawberry turnovers can be left covered at room temperature for about a day before becoming stale.
Refrigerator Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days. The pastry will soften. To re-crisp, heat in a 350°F/177°C/gas mark 4 oven for about 5-10 minutes.
Freezing Turnovers Before Baking: Completely assemble the turnovers but do not brush the tops with milk or sprinkle with sugar. Place the turnovers in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze until solid (a few hours or overnight.) Once frozen, transfer the turnovers to an airtight container or freezer bag, and return them to the freezer for up to a few months.
When you’re ready to bake the frozen turnovers, remove them from the freezer but do not defrost them. Brush them with milk and sprinkle with sugar as directed, and bake in a preheated oven as normal but add an extra few minutes to the baking time.
Freezing Baked Turnovers: Cool the turnovers completely, and then freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once completely frozen, you can gently transfer the berry turnovers to an airtight container. You can store them in a freezer bag, but they will be delicate and their tender flakes will break when bumped by other freezer items.
To prepare frozen baked turnovers for serving, thaw them at room temperature for about 30 minutes on a baking sheet. Heat them in the oven preheated to 350°F/177°C/gas mark 4 for about 5-10 minutes to re-crisp the pastry. Let cool 5 minutes, and then drizzle with the icing if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Don’t overfill the turnovers. The filling will soften in the oven and end up bursting out of the turnovers even if they are well sealed and vented.
2) Leave a ½”(1 cm) border without filling on all edges. Any filling on the border will prevent the pastry from sealing properly.
3) Seal the edges by brushing lightly with milk, and then firmly crimping with a fork. Dip the fork in flour if it’s sticking to the pastry.
4) Make steam vents on top before baking so the steam can escape from the fruit filling and the pastries don’t burst their contents out. You can do this with the tip of a sharp knife, or by snipping slits with scissors.
Turnovers can be made with regular pie dough instead of puff pastry. Bake at 375°F/190°C/gas mark 5 for about 15-20 minutes. They naturally will not puff like puff pastry does, and will be more like hand pies.
There’s not much different between turnovers, hand pies, pasties (as they’re known in Britain), or pocket pies – they are all types of mini pies. Turnovers are often made from puff pastry and are triangular in shape, whilst hand pies are often made by cutting pie pastry into circles or other shapes (like stars, hearts, etc.) and are sometimes fried rather than baked. Pasties are most often half circles (a circle of pastry folded in half over the filling).
More Easy Vegan Desserts
- No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake Jars
- Almond Croissants
- Blueberry Cobbler
- Self-Saucing Chocolate Strawberry Pudding
- Banana Cream Pudding Parfaits
If you make these Easy Strawberry Turnovers, I’d love if you’d give them a rating in the recipe card and leave a comment below! Follow along on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration and on Facebook. Thank you for reading!
Strawberry Turnovers (Vegan)
- 14-16 oz vegan puff pastry, thawed according to package directions See Notes
For the Strawberry Filling:
- 10 oz strawberries (about 2 cups) See Notes for Substitutes
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ⅛ tsp fine salt
- 2 tbsp cornstarch (corn flour)
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp vegan milk
- coarse sugar, optional (Turbinado, sparkling white, or Demerara sugar)
(Optional) For the Vanilla Glaze:
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
- 2 tbsp vegan milk
- ½ tsp vanilla
For the Strawberry Filling:
- Add the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt to a small pot over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture until it starts to boil. Allow the filling to simmer for 5-8 minutes, stirring often. You want the berries to release their juices and concentrate a bit, but you don't want it all to evaporate. Break up bigger berries with a spoon or masher.
- In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch, water, and vanilla together to make a slurry. Stir until the cornstarch is completely dissolved – any starch that is not dissolved will make lumps in your filling.
- Pour the cornstarch slurry into the strawberries, stirring constantly to prevent burning and lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to low until the mixture begins to thicken and loses its cloudiness. Cook one more minute for the cornstarch to fully cook. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, or pour into a lidded container and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Assembling the Turnovers:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Roll out each block of puff pastry into a 12" (31 cm) square with a floured rolling pin, starting in the middle and rolling outward. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 squares with a sharp knife or a pizza cutter; using both blocks of pastry will result in 8 turnovers. (If you're using pre-rolled sheets, roll them enough to flatten out the creases. If the sheets are rectangular, you may cut each sheet into 6 squares for smaller turnovers, or 4 rectangles which will later be folder into rectangles rather than triangles.)
- Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the cooled strawberry filling onto the middle of each square of pastry, leaving at least a ½" (1 cm.) Do not overfill or the filling will leak out. Lightly brush the borders of the pastry with milk, then fold each pastry in half diagonally so two corners meet creating a triangle. (If you cut rectangles, fold the pastry lengthwise so the 2 short corners meet.)
- Crimp the edges firmly with a fork. If the fork is sticking to the pastry, dip the fork in flour, repeating as necessary. Brush the tops of each turnover with milk, then lightly sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Using the tip of a sharp knife, poke 3 small slits into the top of each pastry so steam can escape. You may also use scissors to snip the small slits.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed. Rest for 5 minutes on the baking tray then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
(Optional) For the Vanilla Glaze:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and vegan milk – add a teaspoon at a time just until you get the desired thick but pourable consistency for drizzling.
- Add the glaze to a squeeze bottle with a small round tip, or a small zip lock bag (cut a tiny corner off once filled and sealed) – or you can use a spoon to drizzle a bit of icing over each turnover. Strawberry turnovers can be left covered at room temperature for about a day before becoming stale, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days. The pastry will soften. To re-crisp, heat in a 350°F/177°C/gas mark 4 oven for about 5-10 minutes. See Notes below for instructions for freezing turnovers.
Make Sure Your Puff Pastry is Defrosted.Unless the package directions say otherwise, frozen puff pastry can be thawed in about 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Be sure to work with it while it’s still cold so the fat doesn’t melt. Warm puff pastry is sticky and hard to work with, plus it may result in pastry that doesn’t rise enough or hold its shape.
Don’t Have Strawberries?I used frozen strawberries which are perfectly ripened before freezing, and available year round. Fresh ones also work very well if you’re looking for a vegan strawberry recipe! Other types of berries such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or a mix of thereof, can be used instead of strawberries.
Freezing TurnoversFreezing Turnovers Before Baking: Completely assemble the turnovers but do not brush the tops with milk or sprinkle with sugar. Place the turnovers in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze until solid (a few hours or overnight.) Once frozen, transfer the turnovers to an airtight container or freezer bag and return them to the freezer for up to a few months. When you’re ready to bake the frozen turnovers, remove them from the freezer but do not defrost them. Brush them with milk and sprinkle with sugar as directed, and bake in a preheated oven as normal but add an extra few minutes to the baking time. Freezing Baked Turnovers: Cool the turnovers completely, and then freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once completely frozen, you can gently transfer the berry turnovers to an airtight container. You can store them in a freezer bag, but they will be delicate and their tender flakes will break off when bumped by other freezer items. To prepare frozen baked turnovers for serving, thaw them at room temperature for about 30 minutes on a baking sheet, Heat them in the oven preheated to 350°F/177°C/gas mark 4 for about 5-10 minutes to re-crisp the pastry. Let cool 5 minutes and then drizzle with the icing if desired.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be considered an estimate rather than a guarantee. Crumbs & Caramel makes no guarantees as to the accuracy of this information.
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